Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe (MS '94), faculty affiliate and editor of Library Trends, and her colleagues from Simmons College have been awarded a National Forum grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). Hinchliffe is professor and coordinator for information literacy services at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, one of the largest public university libraries in the world.
The IMLS-funded project, "Know News: Understanding and Engaging with Mis- and Disinformation," was developed by Hinchliffe in collaboration with Laura Saunders, associate professor in the School of Library and Information Science, and Rachel Gans-Boriskin, lecturer in Communications. It will support the development of a symposium at Simmons College to focus on the theme of how libraries and allied institutions can serve as community hubs for information literacy and access.
Plans for the symposium include convening up to 70 academics and professionals from library science and the allied fields of journalism, communications, and education to confront the challenges in an era of fake news and post-truth. Participants will address questions of authority and trust, considering the role of the library in evaluating best practices for helping users evaluate and understand mis- and disinformation.
"The last year has brought a great deal of attention to the notion of 'fake news.' In this time of uncertainty, libraries remain trusted sources for finding reliable information. The IMLS grant affords us a unique opportunity to host a national convening to examine contemporary issues related to misinformation and to conceptualize the library as a living laboratory for supporting users in the pursuit of truth," said Hinchliffe.